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Other Does it matter if I forget the formulas?

  1. Oct 25, 2017 #26

    symbolipoint

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    Nice point! The list of equations to memorize from Algebra 1 is fairly small. The list of equations to memorize from Algebra 2, maybe larger, but still relatively small. Some of them can be derived again if needed, but then also easier to look for them in a listing - either in your book, or , wherever.
     
  2. Oct 25, 2017 #27
    I see. I am incorrect.
     
  3. Oct 25, 2017 #28

    I like Serena

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    To be honest, the reason I quoted your post is because I dislike its message. Your follow-up post is more of the same.
    Here we have an OP that is uncertain about whether forgetting memorized formulas might be a problem in the future.
    And the response is basically that there is 'something wrong with the OP' and that he 'didn't learn what he was supposed to'.
    How does that help?
    I believe it's the wrong message to send to any OP.
    It's destructive and doesn't add anything. The OP already knows that it may be a problem that he's forgetting memorized formulas.
    The real question is what that means, and how the OP might deal with it.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2017 #29

    Mark44

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    There's some posting history by the OP, @I like Serena, that you might be unaware of, in which both V50 and I have participated. Several of the threads appear at first glance to be asking for advice, but if you read farther in the thread, they seem to be more about asking for validation. The OP started two threads (one of which was deleted by a mod) in which he opined that there should not be homework assigned in high school math classes, and that all work assignments should be done during class time. The reasoning behind this opinion was that when high school students get home, they play video games or otherwise socialize instead of doing the assigned work.
     
  5. Oct 25, 2017 #30

    Vanadium 50

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    Of course you do. "You didn't learn the material" is not something anyone likes to hear. People don't like to say it either. But the alternative, telling someone that they did learn the material when they didn't is worse. I maintain that if you need a formula sheet to determine the slope of a line, you haven't learned the material. Saying you have may temporarily boost your self-esteem, but doesn't help you learn.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2017 #31

    FactChecker

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    Most of mathematics is extremely cumulative. Practically every formula you see in algebra, trig, and calculus will be used over and over in combinations in later classes. If you don't have them by memory, you will never survive. That being said, you should not confuse formulas that you need to know from memory with exercises that are example uses of the formulas. You do not need to know the latter by memory.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  7. Oct 25, 2017 #32
    I was the one who told the mod to delete one of my thread. The thread was essentially a repeat of my homework thread. I didn't realize the fact that my deleted thread was a repeat of my homework thread so I told a mod to delete it. Quite frankly, I don't see why it's bad to ban math homework in high-school. Maybe if people were forced to do their math homework in class, maybe people will get to get to cal 1 by the time they get to their last year of high-school.
     
  8. Oct 25, 2017 #33
    Yes, I started to notice this in my Algebra one class I had half an hour ago.
     
  9. Oct 25, 2017 #34

    symbolipoint

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    Very poor sense!
     
  10. Oct 25, 2017 #35
    How about this. When they get to college, they'll be off on their own and then math homework will be assigned.
     
  11. Oct 25, 2017 #36

    symbolipoint

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    Also poor sense. This subtopic detracts from the main idea of the topic about "does it matter forgetting formulas".
     
  12. Oct 26, 2017 #37

    I like Serena

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    I've been a private tutor for a long time now, and the one thing I've learned is to never ever "put down" a student - no matter his or her attitude.
    Or more accurately, to convince those students that regardless of all the teachers that have "put them down", that they shouldn't let it get to them - and that is hard!
    As I see it, teaching students confidence in themselves (and perhaps a sense of purpose) is what ultimately makes them recover and finally succeed. It has much more impact than any knowledge or experience with the material at hand that I can pass on to them. We talk about it, and they appreciate my knowledge and experience, but once they get into it, it becomes irrelevant and they do everything themselves as they should. (I still have to teach them how to deal with fractions and such though. ;))

    So forgive me for reacting to comments that I consider pretty close to "putting down" and that are actually against PF rules:
    'snide remarks or phrases that appear to be an attempt to "put down" another member; and other indirect attacks on a member's character or motives.'​
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  13. Oct 26, 2017 #38
    Most Formulas is that you need to Understand It and explain it, there a very little equation that you must remember, but I think if you memorize the basic equation, then you can derive all other equations.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2017 #39

    I like Serena

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    Just make a drawing, and most formulas will fall into place.
     
  15. Oct 26, 2017 #40
    Yes, this is helpful. thanks. I am done with this thread.
     
  16. Oct 27, 2017 #41
    Perhaps. But I doubt you are done with polemics seeking to validate your unwillingness to master the tasks put before you.

    I had great success in school, because (at least for the purposes and duration of a course), I didn't question whether the professor's way of teaching and assessing learning was the best. I treated that question as "above my pay grade" and simply worked as hard as I could to master the material set before me - according to how the prof was teaching and assessing. After the semester, I often reflected about what I liked and didn't like. But my view was shortsighted and more about my comfort than my learning, because I didn't know what academic and professional challenges lay ahead. But my professors did. Much later I realized the wisdom in the approach of my professors, because I realized how meeting their requirements had developed in me the abilities to succeed in graduate school and the working world. My goal when I became a teacher was at least to do for my students what my professors had done for me - impart learning with true value.

    One valuable way to look at college coursework is that you will take (approximately) 40 classes and have 40 different bosses. Just as in the working world you will have to please a boss, your job in a college course is to please each professor as the boss for your work in their class. Stop thinking about whether what they ask of you is right or reasonable. Figure out how to please them and do it.

    If you can learn to please the 40 bosses you'll have in college, you'll be well prepared to figure out and please the bosses you'll have in the working world.
     
  17. Oct 28, 2017 #42

    Vanadium 50

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    I don't see "you didn't learn the material" is "putting down". I would go a step further and say that telling a student that they have mastered the material when they have not interferes with their learning process, both short term and long term. Short term because they move on before they have mastered the material, and long term since knowledge is cumulative and they are starting on a shaky foundation.
     
  18. Oct 29, 2017 #43

    Mark44

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    I don't see V50's comment as a putdown, but, rather, a realistic appraisal of this situation.

    This is post #43 in what should have been a very short thread, something like the following:
    Q: Does it matter if I forget the formulas?
    A: It depends on which formulas you're talking about. Can you be more specific?
    Q: Does it matter if I forget the formula for the slope of a line after two weeks?
    A: Yes, very much. That's a formula that you should memorize.
    ---- End of thread​
    Instead, we have an OP who is under the impression that having a sheet with formulas on it is the same as knowing those formulas. I'm all for promoting students' self-confidence, but that confidence has to be based on actual achievements, or it's meaningless; e.g., giving everyone on a team an award for "pariticipation.".
     
  19. Oct 29, 2017 #44

    vela

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    There are different levels of understanding, and they require different levels of mastery.

    It's easy enough to teach students a recipe for finding the slope of a line: identify two points, plug the numbers into the right place in the formula, and calculate the result. Students can do this without any understanding of what the numbers mean and what the slope represents. This would rank as the lowest level of understanding. This kind of knowledge is the most fragile since if you forget the recipe or formula, you're screwed.

    The next level up of understanding requires that students know and can explain what the numbers represent. They can explain why a horizontal line has 0 slope; they know why a line of slope 2 is steeper than a line of slope 1; they understand what the sign of the slope represents; and so on. If you have at least this level of understanding of slope, you don't really need to memorize a formula anymore. Knowing how to calculate the slope becomes "obvious" from one's understanding of the concept.

    In all likelihood, you are expected to reach at least this second level of understanding of slope in Algebra I. It may have simply been an unfortunate choice of example on your part, but what people in the thread are saying is slope is such a basic concept that if you truly can't remember how to calculate the slope of a line, you very likely didn't reach the level of understanding of the concept that you needed to.

    That said, learning isn't a linear process. The first time you learn about a concept, it's not unusual to still have some gaps in your knowledge. You may forget certain details and have to relearn them. It's often during this relearning process that you achieve higher levels of understanding. You're not starting from ground zero, and some aspects you may have only memorized earlier now start to make sense the second time around so you no longer have to rely only on memorization.

    The trick is to achieve an acceptable level of understanding on the first go-around. You don't want it to be so superficial that you can't remember the material a week or two later, but it's typically not a disaster if you don't achieve 100% mastery either. You can fill in the holes as you go.
     
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